14th Street busway is back on, private vehicles will be banned during L train shutdown

April 24, 2019

Via Oran Viriyincy on Flickr

It seems plans for a “busway” on 14th Street are back on, according to a draft release of the de Blasio administration’s plans obtained by amNY. The city will ban most private vehicles on 14th Street to help speed up the flow of buses and mitigate overcrowding during the L train shutdown. While the L train Canarsie Tunnel rehabilitation work is scheduled to begin on April 26, the 14th Street changes won’t kick into effect until June.

According to the draft, 14th Street will consist of four lanes, two in each direction with center lanes dedicated to bus and truck traffic and curbside lanes reserved for truck loading and vehicles making pickups, drop-offs, or accessing garages on the block. The changes will apply to the stretch of 14th Street between 3rd and 9th Avenues.

The city also plans to announce that bike infrastructure projects on 12th and 13th streets in Manhattan and Grand Street in Brooklyn will be made permanent. This is aimed at absorbing the increased number of cyclists, which is expected to double during the L train closure.

The city’s original plan for a busway on 14th Street for 17 hours a day was scrapped earlier this year, though advocates have long supported the idea as an alternative to help alleviate overcrowding at stations during the L train work, which will take place during nights and weekends for 15 to 18 months.

While the L train will run normally during peak times for the next year and a half, service on the line will be reduced starting as early as 8 p.m. on weekdays and throughout the weekend. This will translate to a service reduction of as much as 80 percent at certain times, and many straphangers won’t even be able to fit on the overly crowded trains. To prepare commuters, the MTA has released a map that shows service alternatives, transfer points, and planned wait times for the L train.

[Via amNY]


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